If the current rate of progress continues, the UK’s gender pay gap won’t disappear until 2151, according to analysis by PwC.
There was only a 0.3 percentage point reduction in the mean gender pay gap of UK employers between the 2020/21 (13.2%) and 2021/22 (12.9%) reporting years. The mean bonus gap was 32.5%.
Since 2017, when the annual gender pay gap reporting requirement was introduced for all employers with 250 or more employees, the mean pay gap has narrowed by only 0.5 percentage points.
More than four in 10 (43%) of the 10,282 employers who disclosed their data ahead of the most recent deadline saw their average pay gap increase, compared with 41% who reported a widening of their pay gap in 2020/21. This suggests progress has stalled.
When the median figure is looked at, the pay gap increased from 9.2% in 2017 to 9.8% in 2021/22.
PwC UK D&I consulting director Katy Bennett said: “If the current rate of progress continues – so far achieving a 0.5% reduction over five years – the UK’s gender pay gap won’t disappear until 2151. A century – five more generations of women – is too long to wait.
Gender pay gap
“Businesses are facing a number of challenges but there is a massive opportunity to stand out from the crowd for those that take action, think bigger and experiment with new ideas. With one in five employees planning to quit their jobs in the next 12 months companies need to be doing everything they can to attract and keep talent. A large and persistent gender pay gap could get in the way of attracting and retaining talented people.”
PwC’s Year five gender pay gap reporting report says the data suggests most organisations have struggled to make impactful changes to improve their gender pay and bonus gaps.
The biggest increases in sector-wide pay gaps were seen in agriculture, where the mean pay gap increased by 4.6 percentage points to 13.2% last year, and travel, an increase of 3.9 percentage points to 17.6%.
Financial services including banking (28.9%) and investment (25.7%), continue to have some of the highest average pay gaps.
The mining, energy and real estate sectors saw the biggest improvements in their gender pay gaps last year, down 5.4, 3.4 and 3.1 percentage points respectively.
The report says the data does not yet show the full impact of the pandemic on women’s employment and pay, and advises employers to consider how disruption and company restructuring have affected gender diversity and pay gaps.
It outlines three main considerations for employers to drive change:
- are you monitoring the introduction of gender pay gap reporting requirements globally?
- have you considered reporting on diversity more widely than gender, and will you have that data available if and when required?
- have you considered how diversity will fit into your ESG reporting?